Following is the transcript of the opening remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session on the quarterly Land Sale Programme for October to December 2014 today (September 24):
Before announcing the details of the Land Sale Programme for the next quarter, I would like to briefly review the private housing land supply situation for the first half of this financial year.
In the first and second quarters of the current financial year, the Government put up for sale six and four residential sites respectively, which together could provide about 3,600 flats. During the same period, there are another three sources of private housing land supply, namely:
(a) The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) successfully awarded the tender for the development of the Kwun Tong Town Centre Project (Development Areas 2 and 3) in early September, capable of providing about 1,700 flats;
(b) As of August 2014, private residential redevelopment/development projects subject to or not subject to lease modification/land exchange could provide a total of about 2,000 flats; and
(c) The MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) is re-tendering its own project at Tai Wai Station, which could provide 2,900 flats.
Combining all these, it is estimated that private housing land supply in the first half of this financial year has a total capacity of producing about 10,100 units.
In terms of government land sale, we will sell by tender six residential sites, which are capable of producing about 1,250 flats. These six sites are located in Ma On Shan, Cheung Sha on Lantau Island, Tai Wai, Kwai Chung, Sham Shui Po and Tuen Mun.
The two sites in Kwai Chung and Tuen Mun are new sites added to this year's Land Sale Programme. The site in Kwai Chung was originally staff quarters of the Water Supplies Department. After a recent review, the site is considered suitable for residential use. As for the residential site in Tuen Mun, it is ready for sale for residential use after relevant government departments have resolved certain technical issues.
The addition of the two new sites to the Land Sale Programme demonstrates the Government's continuous efforts and commitment to increase housing land supply to the market. We will continue to identify other suitable sites for this purpose, and include them in the Land Sale Programme as appropriate, in order to more flexibly respond to the market's demand for housing land.
Apart from the government land sale, there are two other major sources of private housing land supply in the coming quarter.
The first one is railway development projects. We understand that, subject to market conditions, the MTRCL plans to tender its project at Tin Shui Wai Light Rail Terminus and the other packages of LOHAS Park in the next quarter, which could provide a minimum of about 4,600 flats.
And the URA also plans to invite tenders for Hai Tan Street/Kweilin Street in the same quarter, which could provide about 850 flats.
If the above projects of the MTRCL and URA are proceeded as planned, coupled with the six government land sale sites, the total land supply from these three sources, which include the MTRCL projects, the URA projects and government sites in the coming quarter, will be able to provide about 6,700 flats. Together with the land supply in the first half of this year of about 10,100 units, the total land supply for the first three quarters is estimated to be about 16,800 units, representing about 90 per cent of the average annual target for private housing land supply adopted from 2014/15.
We are also proposing to put up two commercial sites for sale, one in Kwai Chung and the other one in Kwun Tong, and they are capable of producing about 103,000 square metres of commercial/business gross floor area.
In addition, we are going to put up an industrial site for sale. This is the first sale of industrial site since September 2000. The manufacturing sector in Hong Kong has undergone tremendous changes in the past decade. With the rising labour cost on the Mainland and continuing appreciation of Renminbi, business people in Hong Kong indicated to the Government that they are considering moving some of the high-value-added manufacturing process back to Hong Kong. And they have also indicated their interest in tendering for industrial sites, so we put up this site for tendering, and depending on market response, we will consider putting up more sites for this purpose in the coming quarter. Thank you.
Ends/Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:48
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